For the 2016-17 season, trivalent influenza vaccines licensed in the U.S. will contain hemagglutinin (HA) derived from an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these antigens along with a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage).
Recommendations from the ACIP
Flu vaccine is recommended annually for everyone 6 months of age and older who does not have a contraindication. Those too young to be immunized benefit from maternal antibodies passed through the placenta by a mother who was vaccinated during her pregnancy and by being surrounded by immunized friends and family members. Healthcare providers should vaccinate with any appropriate available flu vaccine formulation to avoid missed opportunities. Begin offering vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Peak influenza activity does not generally occur until February. Providers are encouraged to continue vaccinating patients throughout the influenza season, including into the spring months.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on August 26, 2016 provides guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for using this year's flu vaccine products. See Table 1, page 19, for a listing of influenza vaccine products available for the 2016-17 season. You may also refer to the chart (PDF) provided by the Immunization Action Coalition for information about this season's flu vaccines.
Updates for 2016-17 flu vaccine
- Due to studies showing low effectiveness during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that nasal spray flu vaccine not be used in the United States during the 2016-17 season. Consequently, FluMist will not be available for Vaccines for Children providers to order.
- Two recently licensed flu vaccine products are available for the 2016-17 season. Fluad is an adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine licensed for persons aged 65 years and older. The cell culture-based inactivated influenza vaccine, Flucelvax, licensed for ages 4 years and older, is now a quadrivalent formulation.
Thimerosal in flu vaccine
Thimerosal is used as a preservative in all multi-dose vial presentations of influenza vaccine. A 0.5 mL dose drawn from a multi-dose vial contains up to 25 µg thimerosal, depending on manufacturer. All single-dose flu vaccine presentations-prefilled syringe, single-dose vial, prefilled microinjection system, and prefilled intranasal sprayer-are thimerosal free.
Expiration dates for multi-dose vials
||Vaccine expires 28 days after the multi-dose vial is opened or accessed (needle-punctured)
||Vaccine is usable through the expiration date on the multi-dose vial label whether or not it has been opened or accessed
Resources for flu vaccine administration
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Live Attenuated Intranasal Vaccination
Vaccine Information Statement (Flu Vaccine, Inactivated or Recombinant)
Vaccine Information Statement (Flu Vaccine, Live, Intranasal)
Immunize.org VIS homepage - Follow links to translations of current Influenza VIS as they become available (PDF)
Links to Package Inserts for U.S.-licensed Vaccines
Colds vs. Flu Chart
- CDC Preventing Seasonal Flu with Vaccination
- Influenza Causes Substantial Morbidity and Mortality in America's Children Every Year-Facts and Figures on Influenza in Children
- Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Inactivated Injectable Influenza Vaccination